Random Acts of Kindness alive and well at Clemson

February 17, 2014

By Jade Wimpey, Class of 2016
Office of Media Relations

“#ClemsonRAK is racking up the buzz on campus,” according to Twitters users.

What started out as a simple idea to promote the dean of students office’s brand turned into a campus-wide pay-it-forward event. As a part of the International Random Acts of Kindness Week, Clemson held its own Random Acts of Kindness (ClemsonRAK) initiative beginning Feb. 10 and sought to give positive affirmations and encouragement to faculty, staff and students – Tiger style.

“Doing good feels good; if you help somebody out, you feel good about yourself. It’s kind of contagious in a good way,” said Shannon Finning, the university’s dean of students.

Finning initially invited her student affairs colleagues to participate in the event. However, the idea was so popular, that she received volunteers and ideas from areas from across campus.

ClemsonRAK partnered with a number of campus departments and organizations such as Parking Services, student government and Clemson Athletics to host events. Some of the events included free parking vouchers, Library Bridge giveaways and free ROAR points.

Throughout the week, Clemson students also paid it forward, and publicized their random acts of kindness through social media. Whether it was sharing umbrellas with other students, helping roommates shovel snow, or surprising happy recipients with flowers, these kindnesses were recorded through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Although the initial intended audience was students, as the week progressed and the harsh winter weather shut down the campus, Finning had another idea.

“The folks that have been keeping us up and running, like our fire department, the police department, and the university facilities and housing, really deserve a Random Act of Kindness.”  To show appreciation to those employees, the dean of students traveled to each of these offices and provided Starbucks “coffee breaks” as a simple thank you for all their hard work.

Finning received countless emails, texts, and tweets about how students, employees, and even parents were encouraged by ClemsonRAK.

“Clemson is an amazing place,” said the dean of students. “We all need a pick me up sometime; doing this was worth it.”

To see photos and #ClemsonRAK posts, click here.

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